A hit and run last week has finally stirred the government to start legislating safety laws monitoring electric bicycles. A 17-year-old teenager, Ari Nesher, died on his birthday when he was hit by a drunk driver on his electric bicycle. With an entire country mourning the untimely death of a young boy, and a consistent increase in road deaths in recent years, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transportation are working towards creating new laws to manage the popular, and dangerous, urban vehicle.
In addition to raising the sentence for drunk driving from 3 to 5 years, the Ministries are also acknowledging the need to improve street safety laws. Despite the various new transportation trends, there are currently no laws in Israel which acknowledge electric bicycle usage and safety. Around 250 deaths per year are road accidents. In 2015, two of those were on electric bicycles. In 2018, the death toll has reached 16, and numbers are only likely to rise without proper recognition and action.
Countries around the world are starting to seek new legislations in order to protect pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers from harm. Some countries include United States, Netherlands, Beijing and Hong Kong. Some examples of such laws include Beijing’s desire to require a license and license plate and Hong Kong’s pedal-assist vehicles needing to be registered as motorcycles.
During summertime, there were six laws regarding electric bicycles introduced in hopes of passing, but none progressed. Lawmakers will meet again on October 15 and hopefully steer forward street safety legislations.